How to start a high school paintball team
Okay, so you and your friends are paintball aficionados and wish to take your love for the game to the next level by putting together a high school sanctioned paintball team. Let us take a look at the things you need to consider so that you may create a compelling case for approaching your high school authorities with confidence.
The first thing is to be aware of the kind of support that the game enjoys in your school. How large of a group can you get together and what level of commitment will this group have? What are the numbers that you need to have with you if you are going to present a signed petition, or motion, to the school principal?
Start by talking with friends to discuss ideas on how to take things forward. Consider starting a small unofficial club of classmates. It can consist of as few as five or six friends who have the motivation to make an organized effort to the group. Organise your research and collect information that will help to prepare a strong pitch for a high-school paintball team and if you're given the green signal by the school authorities then you already have an action plan set up, hopefully even your club's manifesto!
What are the points on which the school authorities need to be convinced and reassured on?
- Injuries - Compared to football, ice-hockey, and other common high school athletics, the chances of injury while paintballing are quite low. A sprained ankle or a bruising is as bad as it may get.
- Liabilities - Be prepared to sign a waiver that will absolve the school management of all potential liabilities such as damage to property and injuries.
- Your responsibilities - Assure the management that by granting permission for the formation of the paintball team your actions will be at all times compliant with what they expect of you. For example, you will not bring paintball markers into school.
- Safety - Explain that you are well-versed in the safety regulations that govern the game. You should submit a binder containing information on safe equipment handling, equipment maintenance, and also the rules and regulations of the game.
- Benefits - Elaborate the benefits of the game. Participants learn not only about playing as a team but also about elements of planning and strategy and the execution thereof. The team captain, and other members, learn leadership skills. The game is a great calorie-burning full-body exercise.
- Expenses for the school - To start out here should be no required expenses, overt or hidden, for the school in allowing you to run a high school paintball team. The school could have a small funding for events at a local field if budget permits. Players either rent the equipment or buy their own. To start, a local field should be used to run events. This would help remove liability from the school and allow for quick startup of the team events.
Prepare draft presentations and go over them so that when you are done, you have a nicely edited and fine-tuned piece that spells out why a high school paintball team is a good idea. Remember to back with statistics and facts your assertions and assurances on things like paintball-related injuries, benefits of the game for students, and also possible involvement of other area schools.
You may consider enlivening things up by suggesting a game between students and staff. It will also serve to offer first-hand experience to the teachers; it is more likely than not that they will love the experience. The teachers can then make a more informed call on your request.
There is no denying the fact that paintball does not draw the same support from school management as do other sports, like; baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. A paintball marker resembles a gun and this single factor dampens the enthusiasm of high schools. Given this background, you have to prepare your presentation with extra care to avoid the sport being seen as violence.
Be aware of local factors. Does a teacher play paintball? Ask her/him for help, could she/he put in a word with the principal or oversee the group?
Once the paintball club is formed and a team is in place, you can compete in tournaments against other high school teams. If your team does well and maintains an exceptional behavior record, the school may be willing to pitch in for a larger part of the costs and provide jerseys and paint. Eventually even purchasing an airball field or paying field fees for practices and events.
Organisation and preparation are the key to gaining the cooperation of your school. Getting community support and key school officials on your side may eventually come through in the end. If you are turned down one year, do more preparation and try again next year.
For more information look at the NCPA's website here. Or search around on PBNation's forum for people discussing how they've done it.
Best of luck with your effort to begin a high school sanctioned paintball team.
Posted by Redwood on 10/18/2013